Donuts ‘n’ Justice Review

Introduction

Donuts ‘n’ Justice is a small indie game, developed by FobTi Interactive, and published by Ratalaika Games for console release. It was released in June 2021.

Review

It’s time to go back to the 80’s with a buddy, and be a classic buddy cop duo in Donuts ‘N’ Justice! Cleaning up the streets, putting criminals away, and going undercover. At least, that’s what I thought the game was going to be. Sort of like Metal Slug, except well, as I said, as a buddy cop film with an over the top story that’s so cliché, you love it anyways.

Unfortunately for this game, there isn’t any of that silly story. There wasn’t even a story at all. At the end of the game, there was a brief cutscene after you beat the last boss where your captain goes “good job guys!”. There was so much missed potential here. Even if the gameplay is a bit shallow. Unfortunately I never got to experience the “full fun” of the game, as this is clearly very much designed for co-op play.

The game plays like an auto scrolling game, where you just move around on the screen, and shoot the enemies that appear. I honestly expected it to be quite different. Kind of like Contra or Metal Slug, just by the way it looks in the trailers. So you jump into the game and get to choose one of the two characters. I originally tried to play this game on Normal, but I was getting beat down so fast! You see the length of the level in the middle of the screen, and you slowly see your circle move through it. Unfortunately there are no checkpoints in it, so if you die, you restart. So here I am, on Normal, trying to survive the enemies that appear on screen. Many enemies take more bullets than they honestly need to, and after a few attempts I make it through level one. Perfect. Then there’s a boss fight. Easy enough. Then level two began, and there was no way I was going to survive it. Between the enemies with swords coming at me, and the enemies that shoot guns, who’s bullets take up the whole screen, there was no surviving. This is where I realized the game is very much meant for co-op play.

I gave it a good half a dozen tries, but only made it halfway through the level each time. As I progressed and killed enemies, I was collecting “badges” that let me unlock new guns to take on the horde of enemies coming at me. But some of them felt useless. Like a shotgun that never killed enemies at point blank. But then there’s a flamethrower that insta-kills everything! Though I had to hope I got it from the random boxes that the enemies left on the ground after I killed them. I loved this mechanic. I never truly knew what I was going to get and it was fun to see what I had to deal with! But not like any of them helped, because I didn’t have a partner to help me take care of all the madness on screen. So I changed it to Easy.

After this, I blitzed through the game. Suddenly I was taking very little damage, and the worst enemies were now dying in as little as 2 bullets. Before I knew it, I had finished all 5 levels and the credits were rolling maybe 10 minutes later. To say I was disappointed was an understatement. But at least the money I got from the enemies throughout the game let me buy hats! Though I did only buy two. One let me turn on “Halloween Mode” which made things “spooky”. Though not really. A hat would appear that would make a witch drop bombs. Or a ghost would appear now and again. Then the other hat let’s there be weird graphics effects if you try them on. But really, I felt no reason to unlock any of them, or even play the game again. At least alone. Maybe with a friend, unlocking all the hats could’ve been fun. It would’ve also been a fun challenge in co-op, with a partner and a couple of drinks. But in Single player, playing on Easy, it was a wasted trip, with no fun payoff. Though I did chuckle at the last boss.

It helps the games case though, that it’s in a retro art style, with pixels and bouncy music. So that was at least fun to listen to for the 20 minutes run time!

Rating

Rating: 5 out of 10.

Pros:

  • Great Artstyle
  • Hats Give Silly Effects
  • Random Weapon Boxes

Cons:

  • Not Balanced For Singleplayer
  • Short Run Time
  • No True Story

Summary

I am truly not sure how to score this game. So 5 is a perfect in between. Here’s why. Playing it in Singleplayer is either frustrating or too easy. That coupled with its short runtime is a bit off putting. So I can’t recommend it for solo play. But if I had a coop partner and a few drinks, I know we would’ve had a great time trying to get through each stage, and giggling at the bosses, and screaming “THE BOSS IS ALMOST DEAD! GET HIM!”. So if you have that chance, I definitely say it’s worth it. But I guess if you don’t care for any of that? There’s easy trophies/achievements tied to the game. So have at it.

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Game & Developer Information

Developer Website: Fobti Interactive
Developer Socials: Twitter
Publisher Website: Ratalaika Games
Publisher Socials: Twitter
PSN Store Links: £3.99/€4.99 Europe / $4.99 North America
Trophy Information: 14. 40-platinum 1 / Gold 11 / Silver 2 / Bronze 0

Donuts’n’Justice – Launch Trailer

Published by oniwalker

Co-owner of NodeGamers(dot)com. Reviewer and Guide Writer. I'll play just about anything as I cry about my backlog!

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